I Naked by Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh

It's a Hard Life

I stand naked on the corner of 4th and Main Street not believing or liking what I see. The bile rises.

A cop approaches me. I am afraid to go to jail. The adrenaline dilates my eyes. I bark I am blind.

S(he) cuffs me and guides me to the back of the paddy wagon.

I sit on the edge of the steel bench feeling the loose threads of the cloth strip behind me. I am supposed to hang on. Instead, I let it fall between my fingers.

We go to the hospital instead of jail.

I see you again. You with the eyes of concern. You with the smell of bee’s wax.

I ask you, “Will it always be this hard to get help?”

The white blanket you tuck around me muffles your squawks of concern. You hide my nakedness and my cuffs.

You bring me to a back, sterile room where drugged sleep also tucks me in.

The world fades and releases another episode.

Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh is an author, activist and good friend keeping busy saving the world and sipping sweet tea on her front porch in Charlottesville, Virginia. She holds a BA in English from the University of Virginia. There, she won a Jefferson Cup for her story telling. She founded Peer Review, a literary and art magazine for the Charlottesville recovery community. Her work has appeared in Piker Press Magazine and the women’s initiative’s Challenge into Change 2013 anthology. She blogs regularly at cvillewinter.wordpress.com

Photo credit: Luke Milliron